Arsenal Invincible Ray Parlour hails ‘magnificent’ Jack Wilshere
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Much-loved former Gunners midfielder Ray Parlour has been speaking at the Emirates ahead of the Arsenal Legends against Real Madrid match to be staged at the Emirates on Saturday, September 8. Read on for the Invincible’s views on Jack Wilshere’s departure from North London to West Ham.
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has hailed former Gunner Jack Wilshere as a ‘magnificent’ player.
The 26-year-old midfielder left the club earlier this month for London rivals West Ham.
The star who had been with the Gunners for 17 years since he signed for the academy in 2001.
However. Wilshere, who has been capped 34 times for England but has not played for the Three Lions since Euro 2016, opted to leave the club after speaking with new head coach Unai Emery.
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The Spaniard could not confirm to Wilshere that he would be a regular choice, prompting the Hitchin-reared talent to depart for the London Stadiun on a free transfer.
Speaking at an event to publicise the Arsenal Legends against Real Madrid Legends to raise funds for the club’s charitable foundation, Parlour said: “Jack Wilshere has made a big decision and it was his to make.
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“He met the manager and realised he might have been third or fourth in the pecking order.
“As a player who has missed so much football he needs to play.
“West Ham have got a very good signing there. We always look at his his fitness record but if he can stay fit we all know how good he is.”
Wilshere’s career has been blighted with injuries causing his progress to stall.
As a 19-year old Wilshere helped his side to a memorable 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League at the Emirates in February 2011.
So impressive was his performance, the then Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola singled him out for special praise.
Yet Wilshere spent this summer at home watching England reach the semi-finals of the World Cup after missing a whole season prior to joining Bournemouth on loan before he played an increasingly influential role at Arsenal last term.
Parlour added: “I’m gutted he’s left because I would love to see him still in an Arsenal shirt but I’m really pleased he’s gone to a club to play football because there is nothing worse than training hard all week and then sitting in the stands.
“He is going to be their main man in midfield and will get a lot of game time.
“He is a magnificent player - there are only two players I’ve seen as youngsters come straight through to the first-team that I have thought ‘these are going to be top, top stars’.
“One was Jack and the other Cesc Fabregas.”
Arsenal Legends v Real Madrid Legends, Emirates Stadium, Saturday 8th September (kick-off 2pm). To buy tickets visit arsenal.com.